UPDATE at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2016: The two attacks described below are not connected, detectives now say. However, a string of Westside attacks has been connected to one of the 4th of July weekend cases, police said, and a suspect has been arrested. See the latest here. First posted at 3:57 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016.
A suspect who attacked two women in West Los Angeles over the weekend was the subject of a police manhunt, cops said today.
The sexual assaults happened Saturday and Monday near the Los Angeles border with Santa Monica, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.
We reached out to a detective and a department spokeswoman. Both said details such as exact times and locations were being withheld for now.
Here's how the LAPD statement described the first attack:
… An adult female was walking home when a suspect grabbed her from behind and dragged her across a street to a dark path. He threw her onto the ground and got on top of her. The victim fought back, but the suspect struck her numerous times and sexually assaulted her before fleeing.
The second attack happened this way, the department stated:
… The suspect approached an adult female as she was walking home. He put his arm around her neck, pulled her down a driveway and forced her to the ground. He again sexually assaulted the victim and fled on foot.
The attacks took place about a half mile apart, police said.
The suspect was described as a 6-feet, 1-inch, 160-pound African-American man in his mid to late 20s, with facial hair.
Detectives think there might be more victims.
Anyone with information on the suspects or on the attacks was asked to call investigators at 213-473-0447.
UPDATE at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016: The LAPD has released video (below) of a man detectives believe is the attacker. If you know who it is, contact police at the number above.
UPDATE at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016: Police said the first attack, early Saturday, happened in the 1400 block of South Westgate Avenue.
The second attack happened Monday in the 1900 block of Westgate Avenue, adjacent to Stoner Park, at 4:15 p.m., cops said.
In both cases women in their 20s were walking and were taken down by the attacker, authorities said.
A neighbor who responded to screaming during the first attack told ABC Los Angeles the victim had a bloody face.
LAPD Capt. Tina Nieto told folks in the area to call 911 if they hear or witness an attack.
“Let the police get there so we can do an investigation and hopefully catch this predator before he attacks another victim,” she said.